September 4th, 2011


5 for 1

Took it easy until a little after noon, when I had an appointment with the Starving Musician buyer to look at the two old baritone horns I wanted to not have the find a place for in the new apartment. Earlier in the year I had them cleaned, lubed and brought up to playable condition (they were mostly playable anyway). Much to my surprise, they bought the upright bell silver one despite its iffy compression (I only played it for one concert, it felt a little mushy). They passed on the much better-sounding and mechanically better brass bell-front horn, because they have too many in stock already. The buyer said it's a good horn, a school would be happy to have it donated. I've put a note on FB (at least three of my friends are band directors).

From there to Goodwill - last night I pulled all the shirts out of the closet which I never wear, added some towels and more shirts which I'd thrown on top of the T-shirt rack. Yesterday morning I swooped up everything on top of the rack and put it on the bes, and the last thing I did before bedtime was fold everything, organize it, marvel at how many more blank T-shirts in my size I had than I thought, and how much trash (plastic bags, etc.) was in th pile. Now everything is neat. Into the Goodwill bag went three pillows, which were taking up a lot of space. Got to goodwill, they don't take pillows. Boo, hiss. OTOH, these are newer and nicer than the ones which are in the downstairs closet for use with the sofa bed, so I will switch them out and dumpster the older ones.

Since I was in the neighborhood, I went to work - there is a piece of software which had not been cooperating on Friday when I left, and I thought I knew how to fix it. My first theory worked, and I confirmed that many configs are case-sensitive. And that I can't use scrambled videos, like HBO.

That took less than an hour. I'm now enjoying the Mercado *$s air conditioning and fashion show. Some very sexy women come through here, pre and post cinema. And today's bonus was Samantha, a svelte 5'10" platinum blonde wearing a theater worker uniform. Lovely.

Nothing else planned for today, maybe I'll see what's playing.

African-American President?

I'm going to step right into a big pile of it here, but that's what journals are for sometimes. Barak Obama is not an African-American. Not the way "first African-American President" means to me. He is not descended from Africans who came to America more than 150 years ago. He was not raised by people who were. When I think of African-American in the political sense, I think of a person whose family can trace themselves back to the times of slavery. Maybe not as slaves - there were a lot of free people north of the Mason-Dixon line, many who fought in the American Revolution. And I include those people who are descended from those folks whose lineage also includes people of other races. Thomas Jefferson was responsible for some of those folks.

Obama, on the other hand, is the son of an African man - born and raised in Africa, who abandoned his son to return to Africa and his other wives and children. Obama's mother was a Caucasian from Kansas, a cousin of Dick Cheney, and Barak was mostly raised by her parents.

Yes, he must have suffered from some discrimination based on his appearance, but as the son of a white middle-class mother he did not share the rest of the culture.

I make no value judgment here, I am only commenting on perceptions.


Putting extra crystals in the litterboxes was a total FAIL. The extra weight jammed the rake, which negated the automatic part of the automatic litterbox. Had to change out the boxes. Would have done so Saturday, but am still in denial that the cats are depositing twice as much this month as they have been doing for the last year.

After that project was done I sat on the balcony and watched as many as 4 hummingbirds at a time park on the feeder. I think there are twice that many which took a shot at it, hard to tell. There was a lot of bullying and sometimes two or three would start a fight and zoom off out of sight, still engaged in battle. Nice to see them, there were no hummingbirds at all until about a month ago.

Back to this afternoon. I did go to the movies, 4:40 show of Captain America. Things were just starting to get interesting when the screen went blank, white lights started flashing and an announcement looped which said a fire emergency had been detected in the building, to leave by the nearest exit and don't use the elevators. To the best of my knowledge, there are no elevators in the building. The only smoke I smelled was from the In-n-Out across the parking lot. I'm guessing some bozo pulled the alarm. It took a long time for everyone to get out, maybe 15 minutes, and the fire truck arrived about then. Very slow response. After the FD found nothing to fight, they left. It took a few more minutes for the theater to lock all its doors and send someone out front to tell about 3,000 people we could go to the theater in Saratoga (yeah, sure) or come back another day and redeem our ticket stubs. Or at least that's what I gathered from the snippets of her inadequately amplified voice which reached me. No anger in the crowd, but a lot of WTFing.

Home, had dinner, watched some football, and at 7 called the theater, they were open for the 7:30 show. I could make it if I left now. Got on the freeway and saw a wall of stopped cars two exits from mine - and even though I was in the right-hand lane and the next lane over was an exit-only, it took 5 minutes  to exit. I drove back home. Maybe I'll try the late afternoon show tomorrow.

Saw a random post online from an old friend whom I thought had moved to Sacramento (after moving to Oakland for a bit). She's in Fremont now. I emailed her and got an invite to visit tomorrow. It'll be fun seeing her again.

While I'm writing this I'm also ripping my show tunes CDs. I'm only grabbing the tunes I like. Doing Carousel now, Chess is next. Yes, all my CDs are in alphabetical order within each section, except for my classical CDs which I don't have enough of to justify the effort. And my Thai CDs, because It's a PIA to remember the order of the Thai alphabet.

Plans for tomorrow:
Buy pickling cukes and put up a batch of kosher dills
Visit friend
Captain America, Take II